To make an informed decision in an election, voters need to understand the differences between candidates.
Sometimes those differences are based on issues, sometimes they are based on experience, sometimes they are based on credibility.
For the past six months I have been contrasting my conservative views on border security, crime, tax cuts, government spending, marriage and protecting human life with the liberal views of Janet Napolitano.
Meanwhile, our campaign has been waiting to see whether we would have any real opposition in the Republican primary. Two self-funded candidates have almost zero support beyond their own checkbooks. Another candidate, Don Goldwater, has been in danger first of not making the ballot, and second, of not getting any funding under Clean Elections.
After barely gathering enough signatures before the deadline to get his name on the ballot, Don last week finally got barely enough $5 donations to qualify for public funding.
Because of Barry Goldwater’s career, the Goldwater name is well-known. Now the name is on the ballot and will have funding.
So it is time to present voters with contrasts between me and Don Goldwater. That is what we are starting to do, as the Arizona Republic reports today.
One of the questions I receive most often on the stump is — “How do your positions differ from Don Goldwater’s”?
Honestly, there are not significant differences on issues between me and Don Goldwater. The difference between us is that I have 20 years experience as a conservative leader. While I have been leading the charge for educational choice, tax relief for families, protecting marriage and the sanctity of life, Don has been … somewhere else.
That is one reason why four U.S. Congressmen and more than 30 legislators have endorsed me over Don. I am a proven, experienced conservative leader.
He touts experience on the immigration issue, but in reality he never had anything to do with immigration until he ran for Governor — he just got into the race six months before me.
In a previous unsuccessful run for elective office, he was endorsed by Arizona Right to Choose — a lobbying organization funded by abortion clinics. He said he thought the government should have nothing to do with abortion. I’m familiar with Arizona Right to Choose because I lobbied against them, often successfully. Now Don claims to be pro-life, and that’s a good thing. But as a long-time pro-life leader, I never saw Don at a single pro-life event until he became a candidate for Governor.
Earlier this year Don accused President Bush of selling out America. Now I disagree with President Bush a fair amount, but I think accusing him of selling out the United States is a bit over the top, especially for a Republican candidate for Governor.
And I’m still perplexed that someone who is so opposed to Janet Napolitano could have worked in her administration for three years.
These are legitimate questions to raise, because they provide voters with a clear contrast. I am a proven, principled conservative leader who has achieved significant results for the things Don Goldwater now says he supports.
As Don said in our televised debate, “While Len was writing the marriage amendment I was gathering signatures for it.” That just about sums it up.
I like Don and will support him if he wins the primary, because his views on issues are similar to mine. But voters are entitled to know that I am the only candidate in the Republican primary who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in advancing conservative economic and social principles for the past two decades.